photographer

Sipping, Chatting, and Developing in Coffee, with NYC Photographer Giovanni Savino

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

A Man and His Camera, with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC
You can learn a lot about someone by what they choose to post about on social networking sites.  There is so much junk to wade though that those that actually have  a voice stand out and speak to me as a human being.  This is how I first became aware of the work of NYC based photographer Giovanni Savino .

I am not sure exactly how our paths crossed in the image making digital stratosphere.  Most likely it was though our mutual friend art historian John E. Walford.  I very quickly became fascinated with Giovanni’s candid NYC street portraits.  His brilliant black and white portraits on the New York streets stood above the much of what people unfortunately call “street photography.”  It didn’t hurt either that Giovanni often hit the streets armed with my favorite camera, the Ricoh GR.

I did what I usually do when I come across work that I can relate to, is I want to dig deeper and explore more of the artists vision of the world.  His website’s images came alive.  The portraiture of everyday people in the DR (Dominican Republic).  His images were unpretentious, and full of soul.  I instantly developed a rapport with the images, I wanted to know more about the man behind them.

I read his blog.  I waited with anticipation for the next images top be posted on Flickr,  Facebook or fascinating thoughts on his blog.  Again, I was drawn into his world.  We started some backchannel conversations, and I decided, since I was coming to NYC, if he was down, we should link up for a face to face meeting.

It was on a freezing snowy Tuesday in February that I headed uptown on the A train, last stop, Inwood 207 Street. Any further and I would I have been in the Bronx, or New Jersey.  The absolute top of Manhattan.
Giovanni Savino on the Water's Edge, Inwood, NYC

Before heading up to Giovanni part of town, I made a quick stop in a hungover haze to the Moma, thanks to borrowing friend, Jerry’s MOMA card.  I got there before the galleries opened and I knew all I really wanted to see was a small selection celebrating the 75 anniversary of the publication of Walker Evan’s  photographs .  It was a pleasure to see them in the flesh, as printed by the master himself.

In a quiet corner of the Museum I stood gazing at a Jackson pollock painting.  Away from the noise of school children running amuck, I just stood and stared.  The splats and splatters danced and pulsated like never before, possible due to my underestimating the power of NYC sized martinis versus Tokyo ones.

The trip to MOMA, was only the beginning to a beautiful day.  Giovanni greeted me just outside the station like a long lost brother.  In fact, he often used the word, “brother,” when referring to me.  I instantly knew this was going to be a good day.

Inwood is a dominantly DR neighborhood, yet, it is on verge of gentrification like most of the city.  Giovani told me the hood was much different 20 years ago when he first moved in.  Giovanni and his wife took me to their favorite DR place to have some roasted chicken, sadly, they were out, but that didn’t stop us.  We had a great meal and then he showed me the sights around the neighborhood.
Roasted Chicken Reflection, Inwood, NYC

 

He would occasionally take out one of his “cursed” e-cigs and puff on it as we chatted about the streets of New York, photography, life, and everything.  There was nothing off limits, and we both opened up and were happy to be in each others company.

The sun had finally come out by the time we reached a view of the George Washington Bridge.  It was time to head back to his studio and really dig into photography.

From Inwood to The George Washington Bridge, NYC

He brewed us up a cup of black espresso using an Italian stovetop maker.  This coffee was for sipping, but we would soon brew up another batch for developing, in coffee.  I would love the way Giovanni would say “in coffee!”  There was such wonderment in the way the words would just roll off his palette.  Just the simplest of pleasures that photographs can be developed in a brew of homemade Caffinol.

He told me that he had been depressed at the end of last year.  His doctors wanted to put him on anti-depreesents.  He wouldn’t have it.  He knew that there had to be a better way.  And there was.  He brought out his large format camera, and started developing “in coffee!”  So coffee and photography was part of his progress to a healthier life.  That was so beautiful to share with me.  We all struggle with depression, and to find happiness by getting our hands dirty by making a clean mind.

He told me that our energies that create our work come from either the light or the dark.  I want to be in the light!  We both do.  We are both comfortable with our place, and the work that helps us though, and understand the truth in life.

Brewing Coffee (for Developing), with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC

 

It was time to bring out the lights, and big old fashioned Tachihara 4×5 camera loaded with first poloraoid then  Fujifilm positive, with a mounted Schneider Symmar-S 210mm lens for a portrait session.  First with polaroids and then some negs that would be processed, “in coffee!”  I hadn’t used a large format camera since my high school days, but we set it up, mixed up some different temperature lights and got down to business.

There is no waste in Giovanni’s studio.  After peeling off the back of the polaroids, we taped them down and removed the plastic to save the negatives that most people discard.  I loved that low tech way of making images.  Perfection in it’s imperfection.

Low Tech Perfection, with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC

Then it was time to brew up the Caffinol and another portrait session.  Giovanni explained the chemicals needed, and we went to town.  I sat in the light, and he squeezed the cable release.  We went into his light tight darkroom/bathroom, and in complete darkness set about to develop the negatives.  It was so dark that after a few minutes you think that you can see.  Our conversation continued in the pitch black.  About my life in Japan.  Giovanni’s history in NYC, as a news cameraman, his work at ground zero after 911, his support of his wife’s family in the DR and beyond.  A good soul, with a gentle heart.

Polaroid Portrait Exchange with Giovanni aka Baron Von Savino, Inwood, NYC

 

Such an oddness two photographers in the dark, chatting.  I loved every minute of it.  But, all good things don’t necessarily have to end.  The conversation has been started.  The lucid communication will continue.  Giovanni is full of love and joy, and that shines though his art of photography.  I know that I will always have my photographic brother in NYC, Giovanni Savino.

Check Giovanni’s images, and writings with the links below.

Website

Flickr

Facebook

blog

some more images from my one day adventure in Inwood, with NYC Giovanni Savino

 

Petals, Snow on a Manhole Cover, Inwood, NYC

 

 

Used Cars in the Snow with Graffiti Inwood, NYC

 

 

Brewing Coffee (for Sipping) with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC

 

 

One Photographer's Lightroom and Another's Pixels, with Giovanni Savino, Inwood, NYC

Art and Technology at Moneytree First Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Dj Taku (m-flo) Takahashi and Moneytree, Moneytree First Year Anniversay, Shibuya, Tokyo

 

Art and technology might seem like they are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to creativity.  This is not entirely the truth.  Ever since human started to mix pigments and other materials to paint they were using technology wether they knew it or not.

Now we jump into the year 2014 and the lines between the two have become more blurred than ever before.  They, in my mind, cannot be separated.  It was at Moneytree’s first anniversary party that celebrated the coming together of code writers and artists of all styles.  Those lucky industry insiders who were invited gathered in a Shibuya basement club NOS ORG  for drinks, music, and artistic exchanges.

I was fortunate to be invited out to this gathering my the founder and chief executive Paul Chapman.  His team has grown from just a handful of members almost 2 years ago to over 30 now.

I am not one for parties and groups.  I never have been, nor will I ever.  I much prefer small crowds.  I personally find it overwhelming to be with so many people at one time.  However, I quickly became at ease and slipped into conversation with the over guests.

The app Moneytree (An intelligent assistant for your money) was voted app of the year by Apple Japan.  An app that keep the used up to date on all their financial endeavors.  Simple to use and brilliantly designed the app has built strong roots in Japan.  So much so that the founding member of m-flo and dj Taku Takahasi has his entire staff use it so he can keep tabs on his companies expenses.

Paul took the mic and introduced the company and welcomed all to the event.  One big announcement was that Moneytree has finally come to the iPad.  After the kampai (cheers) the turntables were turned over to dj Taku.

I watched in amazement of his dance music mastery.  It was was not the hip hop style of deejaying I was accustomed too.  It was just mesmerizing.  Tweaks and tuns of the mixer’s knobs, and scrolling though a playlist on a glowing apple laptop.

I noticed a photographer, Takumi Yamamoto, with an old school polaroid camera on the edge of the dance floor.  We chatted a bit, and we did what photographer do, we talked cameras.  Also, rather than the selfie, we exchanged simultaneous portraits.

It was a great gathering of artistic and technically minded folks.  A real collection of people across Tokyo, and beyond.

download Moneytree for free! from iTunes.

for more info check out Moneytree’s website  Facebook  and twitter page.

Moneytree is a company to keep watch on!

a Big SHOUT out to Paul for inviting me and letting me be a part of the celebration.
Paul Chapman (Chief Executive - Moneytree), Moneytree First Year Anniversay, Shibuya, Tokyo

 

 

Dj Taku (m-flo) Takahashi, Moneytree First Year Anniversay, Shibuya, Tokyo

 

 

Exchanging Portraits with Takumi Takamoto (山本拓未), Moneytree First Year Anniversay, Shibuya, Tokyo

Frank Lothar Lange: Master Portrait Photographer

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

In today’s Lucid Thoughts post I am going to introduce the amazing German portrait photographer, Frank Lothar Lange. Also, today’s post is livicated to my father, Leslie Alan Schere on his birthday, who has always supported my photographic journey.

Frank Lothar Lange is another incredible photographic soul that I met back in the wild cyber west days of Myspace.  We took an instant liking to each other, and each others photographic expressions.  Frank was probably the first professional photographer I had come into contact with.  Frank was able to see into my images and feel my expression.  For that respect, Frank will always have a special place in my heart.

He has come to take on the role of my spiritual photographic big brother.  When I mentioned this to Frank, he responded with an animated laugh.  But it is completely true.  I have come to him for advice, as much as to admire his beautiful portraits.

Frank has an gifted ability to interact with his subjects through his lens.  He is able to show a facet of the sitter in a new way, and cause the viewer of the photograph to connect with them on a lucid level.  It doesn’t matter whether he is photographing a super star like Yoko Ono, our his über-ultra-superstar, Karlchen, his tomcat.  All of his images let the viewer into the world of who he is photographing.

I personally go through phases when I want to engage in photographing humans, and there are times that I become more interested in the traces, and clues that human beings leave behind.  When ever I gaze into one of Frank’s portraits, they always give me the encouragement to go out and communicate and engage in interaction with people through my camera.

We are living in an image driven world.  In this global society we are constantly bombarded with mediocrity.  Frank consistently creates images that provoke emotional responses from the viewer.

Frank first interacts by digging into his soul to be able to reach into his subject.  Next, he extracts something that we have never seen before.  After editing he then selects the images that are shown to the world.  The viewer then is drawn into Frank’s view of the subject by provoking an emotional response.  This is the key to a successful portrait.  Does the portrait show us something of the soul of who the image has been created?

Frank’s images have the ability to communicate with us, his viewers.  The images communicate soul slices of the subjects that he photographs.  One click of shutter.  One pop of the flash, and bundles of emotion allow us to enter into human being’s sphere.

I was fortunate to engage Frank in some Lucid Communication on the topic of himself and photography, to find out more about his masterful expression using photography.

______________________________________________________________________

Frank, please introduce yourself to the Lucid Communication community.

My name is Frank Lothar Lange, I have been working as a people and celebrity photographer for 28 years. For my work, I have travelled all around the world and have met many fascinating personalities. I live with my family in Essen, Germany.

When did you start taking photographs?

I have always loved to take photos, even as a kid. I started to look into photography professionally at the age of 15, when I got my first darkroom and developed my first prints by hand.

What was your first camera?  Do you still have, and or use it?

I still own all my cameras, I would never sell any of them. For my first sacrament, I was given a Kodak Instamatic 50 by my aunt.  I was eight years old then. Later my father allowed me to use his Kodak Retina Reflex. At 15 I fulfilled my dream of a Canon AE-1.

(author’s note: I am now convinced that Frank is my spiritual photographic big brother.  I too was given a 126  film cartridge camera as a birthday present.  In my case it was a Magimatic X50, a cheap plastic knockoff of the Kodak Instamatic 50.  Although we are separated by some years in our ages and by many thousands of kilometers, we have a bond.)

Why are you attracted to photography?

I just loved to look at magazine covers from all over the world. I used to collect them and hang them up the walls of my room as a kid. I always wanted to create something like that myself.

You have some amazing portrait photography. You have photographed Lady Gaga, Phil Collins, will.i.am, Karl Lagerfeld and many more, How do you approach a new portrait? Especially when photographing a celebrity?

Before shooting I look at every picture of that person that I can possibly find. In the end I try to do something entirely different from everyone else before me.

What has been you most memorable photo shoot?  Why?

That would have to be one with Usher in Cologne. I still sell those pictures, although they are more than ten years old. He is such a fascinating artist with great body language and a big love for the camera.

(author’s note: The Usher photograph is amazingly tender and soft.  You can see it on Frank’s website in his works section.)

What is key to capturing a person’s persona, personality, and soul in a portrait?

Deliberate provocation!  Seriously!

What should someone feel when they look at your photographs?

Suspense, curiosity, and polarization.

What would you like to accomplish with your photography?

It would be cool to know, that somewhere on this earth in one hundred years, there will be a photo that I have taken up on someone’s wall.

Collaboration, and communication between photographers is important to you, Why is that?

To me this only applies to business maters, I never speak to any other photographer concerning artistic matters.

Why is the One Day One Photo Facebook group useful for communication between those that love photography?

This group does not cohere to my work directly, it is an independent web project. You do not even have to be a photographer yourself to join. It consists mainly of daily expression photographs taken by members that they post in the group. This mosaic forms a work of art in its own right.

How has digital photography, and the Internet changed the photography world?

The amount of bad pictures has tremendously increased. Unfortunately good pictures are worth much less nowadays.

Many young people have become interested in photography since it has become digital. What makes a good photographer?

A good photographer sees the invisible. I advise young photographers to go to a lot of galleries and museums to learn this. Photography is Greek for “Painting with light.”

(author’s note: I can’t agree with Frank more.  A photographer must be able to see the world that others are not able to see.  It is though this site that the viewer who gazes into the photograph is able to visualize the photographers eye.)

For me, editing, is one the hardest parts of being a photographer. Can you tell me a little bit about your editing philosophy?  You once told me that you put your work up on a wall for weeks, and if you got bored of an image, it was then discarded for an exhibition.  Could you tell us a little bit more?

Usually I work for magazines and I don’t have so much time so, it’s quick and dirty.  You can be sure  that 90% of the time they they choose a picture to print that I don’t like so much.

That has happened to me too.  What if you were getting photographs ready for an exhibition?

Then, it’s a long process for weeks.  No joke,I need weeks to find the works for the show.  Some pictures are the same as food, after some weeks they lost their spirit.  They are like spiritual food that must nourish the artist.

What is your internet presence? (website, Facebook, etc?)

www.franklotharlange.de

Franks Lothar Lange’s Facebook

Thank you so much Frank for taking the time to talk with the Lucid Communication family.  May you keep on producing the beautiful and expressive works.  Frank curated a selection of his portraits to share with Lucid Communication.  I strongly encourage you to drop by his website, and Facebook page to see more of his images.

will.i.am

Phil Collins

Rihanna

Plassmann

Lady Gaga

50 Cent

Karl Lagerfeld

Bill Tokio

Karlchen

All images in this blog posting are courtesy of Frank Lothar Lange, and are Copyrighted Frank Lothar Lange, All rights reserved.

Brancolina: Geometric Architecture Squared

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

This is the third addition of the Lucid Thoughts section of the Lucid Communication website.  Today I am going to introduce the photographer who we all affectionately call Brancolina.  I have known Brancolina for about 4 years and she has been kind enough to share my images on her website, that I am thrilled to return the favor and spread her wonderful square images with the Lucid Communication viewers.

Brancolina is an amazing photographer based in Europe and is strongly influenced by the architecture that she comes across in the city.  Her images always show the trace elements of humans beings.  Meaning, that she is most interested in how humans construct their world around them.  This idea is very similar to mine.  In fact, I like to show the work that humans have created, especially when it comes to their private dwelling spaces.  Brancolina’s interest in showing the spaces in often more public settings.

One thing that I really love about Brancolina is that she fully supports the artists that she enjoys.  She curates exhibitions on her Red Square Gallery site, which, she was kind enough to include a selection from Lucid Communication on Geometric Wabi Sabi.  In the Flickr world Brancolina strives hard to write thoughtful provoking comments.  It is always a blessing to receive a comment from Brancolina, because I know the time and energy that it takes to truly absorb an image to be able to write something thoughtful.

She has just released a new book entitled Urban Stories available on blurb.  It is a collection of images that show the city in its beautiful and sometimes changing cities.  In the Brancolina’s lens the geometry comes alive.  The square framings of the city include such lovely details, and allow the viewer to meditate on what the urban environment first of all means to Brancolina, and more importantly how the view then related to her images.  I strongly recommend that you take the time to explore this book.

Urban Stories available on blurb.

I wanted to know a bit more about Brancolina; therefore, I decided to interview her to find out more about how she creates the images that she does, and why building a community of photographers is important for her.

JS – Where is your home?

B – I live in Antwerp, Belgium.

JS – What is it about geometry that attracts you?
B – I am educated as an architect, it is the essential part of my profession to invetigate forms and proportions in the process of designing architectural space. I love geometry and its principles, so I tend to express this affinity in all my creative projects.

JS – Your images (and mine) rarely feature humans, why is that?
B – From the aspect of urban photographer I am more interested in how humans are creating the city’s architecture and adding personal marks to urban environment than in people’s direct presence on the scene. With my photography I often explore architectural structures as boundaries that delineate and define the urban space, on desolate places significant fragments and proportions of urban elements that compose the scenery are better visually emphasized.

(author’s note:  I find this idea intriguing.  It isn’t necessary to show humans in a photograph to be able to show how they have a presence in images without them being there.  I am fascinated by her exploration of the edges of public and private space.  How do humans interact in these spaces without having to be shown.)

JS – Who are your influences?
B – When I joined Flickr in 2008 I met some photographers who inspired me to take a different approach to photography, getting to know the Rhizome group from Fernando Prats and Jef Safi, and Azurebumble’s Cream of fugu and contributing to Y SIN EMBARGO magazine’s issues especially encouraged my photographic activity.

In the last two years I was influenced by photography lessons that I took at Antwerp’s Academy of Fine Arts, but this year I decided to take a pause and independently continue with my photographic activity by following my own ideas and concepts.

(author’s note:  Learning and studying how to do photography is an important step for any photographer to take, but eventually the artist needs to be able to create a pathway to artistic expression that is uniquely theirs.  I am proud to see Brancolina starting to forge her own way.)

JS – What do you want viewers to know about your photography?
B – My main motivation to be busy with photography is the artistic need to express myself with images. I like to create photographic visions that intrigue and excite the observer with more than just the prettiness. I think an artistic photo should act like a visual catalyst for emotive, aesthetic or intellectual impressions that affect mind of the spectator.

JS – You give support and exposure to other artists. Why is that important to you?
B – I’m doing that as a sign of respect for some of my favorite photographers who expose on Flickr and because I enjoy curating. In Shadé group the chosen members were curating thematic exhibitions by selecting photos from the group’s pool, and then those photos were awarded by other members of the group with a goal to publish the best voted works in the annual photo book (edition 2009 and edition 2010). After 2 years of administrating the group and realization of photo books I decided to close it and try a different project.

Since March 2011 I have been administrating the Red Square Gallery, where I am organizing exhibitions of architectural and urban photography. Curated selections of 6-8 images accompanied with the artist’s short interview are presented about 3 times a month on the gallery’s blog, which is channeled via a ‘sister’ gallery on Flickr. I could have probably organized those exhibitions in the galleries on Flickr, but I decided to transfer them to the Wordpres platform, because I like how photos look there, and I hope that WordPress exposure could benefit artists to get extra exposure outside the Flickr domain. It is my goal to create an online directory of photographers by introducing a selection of their works with an interview that reflects their artistic point of view.

JS – What is your internet presence? Web sites, links etc?
B – For the time being I am mainly exposing on Flickr, my blog and Tumblr, my photo-books are available via Blurb publishers.. The website is currently under construction.

My photos have been published in the following internet locations:
Hypo – X – Series, A digital curation by Alan Wilson
Y SIN EMBARGO #16, Du-champ-issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #17, Mess-up mess-age issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #18, Inside-out issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #19, super#F issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #20, Extimacy issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #21, Ink or link issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #22, cap-it-all/off issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #24, In-betwen the net issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #25, Just a memory issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #26, Uroborus issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #28, you/END/me issue
Y SIN EMBARGO # 29, end/s issue
U.K’s The Building Mag
Photographer #8 photos + interview
on Azurebumble’s blog Aesthetic investigations: Brancolina: photography pr. 1, Brancolina: photography pt 2, Breaking the darkness, Blue room and Symmetrical spaces.
DOZE#5, Visionär issue
cameraobscura online photography magazine

JS – If there is anything else you would like to say?
B -Thank you very much for inviting me to introduce myself on the Lucid communications. Greetings to all who will be reading this.

I too would like to thank Brancolina for taking the time to answer my questions and help us to be able to better explore her photography.  She has been an inspiration to me in a way to approach internet communication as a collaborative effort.  I will always be thankful for the lucid communication that we have been able to create together.

Photography is my passion, I love everything about it.  I am happy to share my explorations with a beautiful human being and photographer Brancolina.

I will present a small curation of her images below.  I invite you all to explore her Flickr to see her world through her lens.

5

untitled feeling

alienation

this way ...

ceci n'est pas une banane

keep it cool

the images in this blog posting are copyrighted by Brancolina.

Just a taste of Brancolina’s world.  The geometric shapes that inhabit and live on in the cities.  The lines squares, circles all dance and sing in her photographic squares.  Again, thanks again Brancolina for giving us the beauty that you see in the world.

Good Things out of Oakland: Photographer John Coyne

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

This is the second installment of the new Lucid Thoughts section of my website Lucid Communication.  It is a new area will I will introduce photographers that inspire me, images that I find intriguing and reviews of work and artistic content.  I am proud to bring you the second feature in Lucid Thoughts section.

I have known John Coyne for quite a few years now.  He was one of the first street photographers that I met back in the myspace days that could rock the streets with a camera the same way that KRS ONE rocks the microphone.  John is out there in the streets capturing the good, the bad and the ugly side of the city he calls home Oakland, California.

I lived in the bay area for five years and I always enjoyed jumping over the hills and into the city of Oakland.  Whenever I browse though John’s photographic images I am instantly transported back to the Bay Area.  The beautiful city streets of the Bay Area always brought comfort to my heart and lens.  John has definitely tuned into the gritty beautiful essence of the San Francisco Bay Area.

John has proved again that he has hear ear to the streets as well as his lens.  He collaborated with bay area DJ Platurn on the video track “The Bones.”  The first time I watched the video I was blown away by the imagery that John laid down to compliment the hip hop track.  John’s eye captured the essence of the city that DJ Platurn and John Coyne call home.  I asked John about where the inspiration came from to create the video.  He proudly replied that, *the inspiration came from the amazing track that DJ Platurn produced and my love for the city of Oakland.”

Oaktown, a place that is often neglected in the Hip Hop world, but John feels right at home in its streets and neighborhoods. John says that by being in the streets of the Bay Area infuses perfectly with his style as a street photographer.  John Coyne strives to show his love for the bay area and this video is a perfect melding of the Oakland and Hip Hop culture.

Like many photographers are on a path to seek out truth and beauty in their photography.  John sees his work as showing the gritty street of Oakland, and seeking the beauty, that is often looked over, that the city also has to offer.  He wants to be truthful to the city, and in this author’s opinion he keeps that beautiful raw street which makes his images glow with energy.

I was curious how he made the video which consists of 90,000 plus still HDR images and HDR video.  I asked him what equipment did he use to complete the video and re replied, “for the techies, I used my Canon 5D , a interval timlapse device , premiere pro to edit it and a lil creative thinking.”  I would have to say that there is a lot more than just a “lil creative thinking” going on when it comes to the way that John Coyne rocks “The Bones” video.

I invite you to check out more of John Coyne’s photographic work on his website Caught in the Scramble there are some beauty images of the Bay Area, Hip Hop artist’s portraits and much more to be found.

I am very proud to know John Coyne as a friend and a photographer.  I am sure he will be one of the first to tell you that by keeping it truthful to the streets is what photography means to him.

You can follow John on

twitter

flickr

vimeo

Caught in the Scramble

Fernando Prats: Photographic Internet Master

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

This is the inaugural blog in my new Lucid Thoughts section on Lucid Communication.  This section will be where I write about artists that inspire me, things that cooler than cool, and other nuggets of Internet archaeology.  I hope that people out there will enjoy, visit, and follow the goings on in Cooler Than Cool Photography.  I look forward to creating more Lucid Communication with artists from around this beautiful globe.

I first met the Spain based artist Fernando Prats back in the wild west days of Myspace.  I was new to the Myspace world back in 2006 and I was quickly becoming frustrated with not being able to link up with any other visual artists.  There were an abundance of musicians of all stripes and sounds, but I kept on thinking to myself, “where are the artists, photographers, and filmakers?”  It was around this time that I came across the Myspace page for Y Sin Embargo Magazine.  I was browsing around the comments and the Magazines page thinking that this is pretty cool, and this is what the Myspace experience should be about for myself and other artists.

I wrote Y Sin Embargo an email on Myspace saying how much I liked the site and that I would love to collaborate on an upcoming issue.  Low and behold I received an email back from Fernando.  Not only did he reply but he also said how much he liked my work and that I should submit some work to the magazine.  This was the beginning of our cross the globe friendship and artistic collaborations with my work being included in Y Sin Embargo #11 issue, Hermosa.   Which was quickly followed up by my work being paired with a writer for inclusion in the Y Sin Embargo #12 issue, Habitat Habitos.

I was so impressed not only Fernando’s work as a photographer but his artistic layout design to create spaces where he and his fellow artists can showcase their work.  Fernando has a brilliant eye for layout design which he explores on Estudi Prats, and through the way in which his simple and elegant designs do not detract from the work that they are presenting but that they add another beautiful layer to the artistic expression.

Another space that Fernando has created for artists to interact with each other is the Flickr group Rhizome Candidum, Rhizome Premium, and Rhizome Summum.  I usually have stayed away from groups that demand the users post awards to other peoples work, but this Flickr group is different.  The level of work submitted to the three tiered group is some of the best work that I have found on the net.  Prats encourages the members of the group to create comments that are constructive and help all improve the overall quality of the group.  This is the essence of the Rhizome groups.  For the artists to work together and create stronger expressive work.   And much inline with my own personal philosophy of Lucid Communication, the artists interact with each other and we all strive to encourage each other to develop ourselves as artists.  I fully enjoy interacting with my fellow astists, including Fernando Prats on Flickr.

Fernando Prats has developed an international network of artists and puts the Internet to good use.  In fact, his presence on the Internet is the most profound that I have yet to find.  He manages to explore all the niches of the Internet where artists gather to exchange views, represent themselves, and further their artistic goals.  As the Internet is ever expanding Fernando will be right there using the latest tools to further his lucid communication with the artistic community.

Fernando Prats’ photographic work often deals with the theme of how humans interact, and build structures in the places that we inhabit.  To call his work simply architectural photography would be to miss the message in the photographs.  The space, and often seemingly empty space, allows the viewer to gaze into the city in a way that they have never seen before.  How the buildings jagged edges cut out sections of the sky as he aims his lens towards the heavens.  The dark shapes shift and comment on how humans try to reach the heavens, but we are still mentally pulled down by the earth’s gravity.  A collection on his studies of the interaction of architecture in Buenos Ares, called “a taste of immadencity.”    Prats says, that there is “a discourse of the shapes as a dialog of power,” about his collection of photographs that were all made in one day of shooting in the Puerto Madero area of Buenos Ares, and, “limited to obeying the histogram’s wishes,” Prats further explains.

I asked Fernando some questions about his online presence and what that means to him as an artist.

You have an amazing online presence. How has this helped your creativity?
To show works to various audiences through its peculiar mechanisms can help producing a new look & feel to those same works.  Although there are secure movements within certain styles -or at least, that’s what one can think…- each audience has its tastes and, surprisingly, they do not match very frequently.

Has it allowed you to make a living as an artist?
Well, certainly not because of online presence at all… the 2.0 audience is very reluctant to pay for contents or artworks even if their price is nominal and ridiculous[ly low].

Do you ever find your online presence to much to keep control of?
Probably I should be but my sincere answer is, I’m not sure why, no. Perhaps the fact of doing different things at the same time most of the time, could be considered a sort of training.
(author’s note: I especially feel Fernando on that one.  I too at times feel overwhelmed by training to keep an online presence fresh and constantly evolving.  I too, as a photographer, feel that the online presence is a form of training.  A way for artist to keep honing their creativity.)

What new artistic works do you have coming out soon?
The last book I published is “Deshielo” (poetry), the next one is the full version of “Immadencity: Buenos Aires Contemporary Architecture according to fernandoprats”.  I’m preparing one about New York and one about Barcelona and will be correcting “Monda Lironda” (poetry, which complets the three-lejía “Al Català’, alongside “Deshielo” and “Corto y afilado”) for next year.  Also, I’ve two or three series of new work in-progress with painter Miguel Ruibal and the idea of presenting a real exhibition of Prats/Ruibal.
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This is just a taste of all the work that Fernando Prats has accomplished and his amazing presence on the web.  I feel fortunate to be able to count Fernando Prats as one of my dear artistic friends.  His work continues to inspire me and he has helped me to set high goals for myself with regards to my artistic expression.  I always look forward to seeing his work, and I know that someday we will be able to cross paths in the flesh.  I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to Fernando Prats for helping me to create this inaugural blog in the Cooler than Cool Photography section of the Lucid Communication website.
Fernando maintains an amazing Internet presence in the cybersphere.  He interacts, posts and generally uses the Internet to pursue his artistic visions.  This is a list of Fernando’s presence on the Internet.  I invite you all to take a look and browse through the different links.  Some of his works are available for free to download.
Below is just a small sampling of Fernando Prats photographic works.  Many of the images are from his soon to be releases book titled A taste of immadencity to be released in December this year.  Fernando describes the images in the book as follows: Immadencity: Buenos Aires contemporary architecture according to Fernando Prats.  He is awaiting the creation of some original music to accompany the images by RV
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These images contained in this blog posting are copyrighted by Fernando Prats 2011.

Get Ya Cherry Blossoms While they Last

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Its that time of year again.  When hopefully the weather warms the days lengthen and the Cherry blossom trees bloom in their passing beauty.  I was fortunate to be out in Chiba yesterday and got to view some of the blossoms, because today the wind is absolutely howling.

Walking around watching the spring madness i couldn’t help think to myself the connection we should all feel with the changing seasons.  It is perfectly natural, in our DNA as humans, to appreciate the spring.  The rebirth of the land from the seemingly endless death of winter.

Here in Japan the reverence for the first flowers comes out at times more like lunacy rather than appreciation.  People gather under the trees and drink themselves into oblivion.  All the camera otaku (nerds or geeks) get their macro, zoom and other gadgets out to get that perfect picture.  Don’t get me wrong I love the spring and the changing seasons, but I love to photography and immerse myself in the frenzy of appreciation.  That spectacle is thrilling.   Enjoy the spring madness.

Cherry Blossom Wall

Cherry Blossom Sky Hole

It's Picture Time

Weeping Cherry Blossoms

Twin Lens Reflex Man and the Cherry Blossoms

Cluster

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere